Germany on Thursday confirmed that it's ramping up military aid to beleaguered Ukraine, after days ago reversing its long-standing policy of neutrality which banned any country from shipping German arms into conflict zones. Now after one week of Russia's brutal invasion of Ukraine, Berlin is sending an additional 2,700 anti-aircraft missiles to Kiev.
It comes after an initial arms shipment already arrived, upon the request of the Ukrainian government. Given that also on Thursday the White House confirmed that it's sharing "real-time intelligence" with Ukraine's military - all of this suggests the NATO allies are slowly getting sucked in more directly amid Ukraine's efforts to defend its territory.
It should be noted of course that obviously NATO has been supporting Ukraine on a military and intelligence level for a long, long time at this point, which the Kremlin has cited as one of the reasons for the extreme action now being taken.
The Wall Street Journal details in a fresh report that what's essentially Germany's version of the more well-known US Stinger system is called the Strela:
The shoulder-fired weapons, known as Strela, can be used against helicopters and airplanes and will be transported to Ukraine within days. The Soviet-made rockets belonged to the armed forces of the former East Germany and are among the most widespread weapons of that type in the world. They were mothballed years ago and are now stored by the environment ministry.
The initial German weapons shipment earlier this week included 1,000 anti-tank missiles, and additionally 500 American Stingers. Berlin's complete 180-turn on the issue also allowed Baltic states like Estonia to begin shipping in German-made weapons.
This poses a huge problem for those in the West not wishing for direct Russia-NATO confrontation. Moscow this week warned that if its forces come under fire by foreign-supplied weapons, then those external countries behind the shipments will "bear the responsibility."
A U.S. Special Operations official monitoring the conflict in Ukraine told Connecting Vets that he had seen estimates of 280 Russian armored vehicles taken out by the Javelin as of this writing, out of 300 total missiles fired.https://t.co/3hmMBbdcBI— Jack Murphy (@JackMurphyRGR) March 3, 2022
But many reports suggest this is already happening, particularly given Ukraine has long had an abundance of US Javelin anti-tank missiles. By some estimates, Ukraine's military has already used literally hundreds of Javelins against the invading Russian army.